Beatriz Flores, 31, was pulled over by sheriff's deputies Monday night on Golden Valley Road and Robert C. Lee Parkway. Her 14-year-old and 11-year-old sons were in the vehicle. When officials searched her pickup truck, they found that her older son had six bags of heroin concealed in the groin area of his pants.
Authorities said Flores confessed to deputies that she told her son to hide the drugs, and hoping to gain their sympathy, she told them she needed to do it to pay rent.
"She said that she's a single mother with four children and that she didn't have rent this month, and so she had asked someone to help her with the rent. They gave her this way to make money, to pick something up, a little package, and to transport it somewhere," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Lt. Brenda Cambra.
But deputies found evidence that she had not only been transporting drugs, but selling them too. They found $1,500 in cash in the vehicle. And during her booking at the sheriff's station, methamphetamine was found hidden in Flores' clothing.
"We believe those drugs were intended for the Santa Clarita Valley," said Cambra.
Methamphetamine is common in the Santa Clarita Valley, but authorities say heroin use is becoming more prevalent, particularly among white youth.
"It appears to be linked to the prescription drugs medications, which are opiate derivatives, and then the high cost of prescription medications can lead some users who become addicts into using heroin," said Cambra.
Authorities believe Flores, who lives in the Lake Los Angeles area, was conducting her illicit drug business about 30 miles from her home in the Santa Clarita Valley, which is concerning news to residents who have children.
"I think it's ridiculous, and somebody like that should lose their children," said Jenny Renkin of Santa Clarita.